Saturday, September 12, 2009


It's been a busy couple of weeks and I have started back in my old job at the English International School [where I taught before I was ill last year]. I must say it is pleasant seeing some of my old students again and meeting new ones. I took in some pictures of London to sort of welcome myself back and presented my boss with a dollop of blu-tack [unavailable here] to put them up with; what more could she desire?

Meanwhile, at home, and thanks to Marie-Laure and David for having suggested it, the computer shop man has set up Wifi for me so at long last I can listen to The Archers in every room! I don't know why it never occurred to me that that was the solution.... Rosa was laughing at me this afternoon as I purred with contentment at the mere thought of being able to listen to all my beloved Radio 4 voices as I laze the siesta hours away in my bedroom or lounge.

The kitchen has been a hive of activity too, as Irma wanted to see how I make that old standby of mine, the lemon semifreddo which is really Jennifer Paterson's "Suffolk Lemon Pudding" [from Seasonal Receipts]. If that sounds familiar to regular readers, it's because I have both made and mentioned it hundreds of times before, and the recipe has not let me down yet. Irma likes my instructions, which include this advice for turning the cake out: "Dip the base in hot water, take a deep breath, pray, then be brave - and quick!"

Over at Raffaele the hairdresser's there are all these new perfumes for his clients to play with:

They are mostly good imitations of famous scents and I decided it would be fun to spray one on top of the other until I got the right "note" [as I believe perfumers call it]. I'll probably never be able to create that particular mix again! Raffaele just looks on as if to humour me...

There was less fun for my other hairdresser, the one nearer home, yesterday, for , just as I was going out with Simi at lunchtime, an injured pigeon took refuge in our courtyard. The poor creature could hardly move, let alone fly, crashing in agony each time it tried. I didn't know how to help it and was wondering whom to call when Orazio appeared. When he said he'd see to it I wasn't quite sure what he would do but he went back into the salon and emerged with a box and a rather hesitant assistant behind him. Then he told me that he bred pigeons so could handle the situation and off Simi and I went. When we came back the bird was in the box and Orazio was trying to feed it some bread. Sadly, this morning he told me that the bird had died during the night but at least it was treated kindly during its final hours. Apparently the assistant, who had had to pick the pigeon up from under a car it had painfully reached, only admitted this morning that she is terrified of birds!

You can tell that it's autumn because the cotognata [quince paste] is in the shops, are as the fichi d'India or prickly pears. One of the nicest combinations I know is that of Asiago cheese and cotognata:

And the Altro Posto yet again wins the "Ice Cream of the Week" award, for being the first bar this year to include fichi d'India in its coppa di frutta e gelato:

I was going to finish there but I have to tell you that, much to my amazement, I have won Saretta's competition over at her blog! She had the brilliant idea of putting up a photo of a group of her international friends and her readers had to guess the nationality of each woman. No, I didn't guess correctly; it was a lot harder than you would imagine and we all got in a fine muddle trying to work it out by logic, so in the end Saretta pulled a name out of a hat! The prize is a guide to Apulia which Saretta has translated and I'm really looking forward to receiving it. Grazie in anticipo, Saretta.


James Higham said...

The Italian was easy to spot.

CherryPie said...

You have had a busy day. I feel sorry for the poor girl having to pick up a pigeon when she is terrified of them

Minnie said...

Congratulations on your return to work, Welshcakes - and bon courage au boulot.
Love the thought for the week (+ pic).
Fascinating insights, as ever, into the riches of la cucina ... mmm!
Glad to hear you, too, can tune in to 'The Archers'!
As for the perfumes, I hope you get a chance to visit Grasse or l'Occitane's fabrique.
Lovely bit of luck, your prize. Will the guide inspire you to wish to explore further afield?

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

wow... the fichi d'India are already available down in Sicily? We have to wait another 3-4 weeks up here!

Ellee Seymour said...

I am glad you are working at the language school again. I think you will be a great asset to them.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, James. Huh? Hi, Cherie. Yes, poor girl! Thanks, Phidelm. Are you an Archers fan, too? Oh, good! I did visit the Grasse factory once, but accompanied by about 60 schoolkids, so didn't have time to really explore the wares on sale. I remember the factory manager presented me with a perfume resembling "Anais" , though. I'd love to visit the mainland south as I don't know it very well but it depends on that old bugger, money! Hi, Peter. Yes, they are just coming in. We're usually a bit earlier down here. I love them. You are, as always, very kind, Ellee.

The Morleys said...

I feel exactly the same about The Archers and Radio 4 and invested in an internet radio which is brilliant. Still feels weird getting up to Sailing By though...!

Liz Hinds said...

Just catching up.

I'm glad to hear that you're back in work! good news.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, The Morleys. I don't think i could handle getting up to "Sailing By"! Hi, Liz and thank you.


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